Serial 3rd party booker ? wtf

“Hi Julia, I would like to book your beautiful home for my friend to relax on his birthday with his girlfriend. We are surprising him with this escape. I’ve read and shared your rules with her. Thanks! Ryan”

This is a request for 2 nights next week. Out of 8 decent reviews, 4 are booked by him and the hosts accepted other guests…Should I call airbnb?

If it’s me, I don’t accept it. I would provide him with this information and explain to him that if he signs up under the appropriate account type (AirBnB for Work), then it is permissible but it’s otherwise forbidden by Air’s ToS. Further, it’s forbidden by me for liability and insurance reasons.

"I’m booking for another person, why should I use this booking mechanism instead of just booking a trip myself?

It is not permitted. Booking for another user is not permitted on our platform unless you use our defined 3rd party booking flow. If a user books for another user and puts themselves down as a guest, that reservation is outside of our terms of service and can be cancelled by our system or agents, or by a host."

This account type is only supposed to be used for businesses booking on behalf of their employees.


Tell him you’ll surprise his friend even more by not letting him in the door if he can’t show an official ID that matches the name on the reservation. :wink:


Just Say NO. It is against Air’s Terms of Service.


I would accept.

The booker is honest upfront, before booking.
I had several of these “gift” bookings, never had any problems with it.


I’ve done a third party booking (as a guest) twice. Once as a surprise present trip to Venice for my daughter and her husband for their honeymoon. At that time I didn’t know it was against TOS, the Host was fine with it, the daughter was over the moon and all went well.

The second time was the day before yesterday when our Cape Town co-host (and co-mother in-law) who is moving house and suddenly found herself with three days of “homelessness” got locked out of her ABB account because her terrible South African bank (they’re ALL terrible) messed up the credit card payment she wanted to make for a reservation. I contacted the Host, who we’d stayed with in the past, explained the situation and asked if he would consider taking a third-party booking. Fine, he said, no problem. It’s her second night there now.

However, having been terrified, as so often, by the warnings I read on the forum I called my favourite, sensible CS rep and told her what I’d done … basically she sighed, told me I’d been naughty and said, yes, it is contrary to the TOS and they are aware it happens and no, she knew of no cases where any action had been taken against either the host or the guest in these circumstances. She pointed out, however, that it’s fine when it’s fine, but if a problem arises then officially neither the host nor the guest has any recourse to Airbnb.

I guess I’m just saying that of course the OP should exercise their own judgement, but that not all guests trying to book this way are doing so with nefarious intent.


I see both sides of this. Go with what you truly feel like doing. It is your rental.

About reporting the serial 3rd party booker—I would’t do that. Hosts who accept the booker are enabling it and are OK with it.

  1. I’ve accepted third party bookings and 3X had terrible experiences because I couldn’t communicate with the guest. After the first one, I asked for the guest’s contact information. It was better but not great. Plus the gift booker, failed to share the check-in information, house rules, etc. with the actual guest.

I’m not a fan of accepting 3 party bookings.

  1. Other hosts on this forum and in this thread have been successful at 3rd party bookings.
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I have done 3rd party booking for a neighbor who booked for her mom. In this case, I knew the people involved, so not a big deal. I did have to remind her to do a review.

A company tried to book for employees on the platform, and it was a cluster, I think more so because the lady booking was a bit flakey. We knew one of the employees, and in the end, it was much easier for him to bring a blank check for the stay. We missed out on the # of visits and additional reviews on Airbnb from the company visits, but if I had to rely on the flakey lady doing our review on their behalf, it would have been a disaster. It was so painful helping her to just try to book the first stay that I couldn’t think how frustrated she would be doing reviews!


I have done 3rd party when the story makes sense – usually older parents are visiting from out of town and there isn’t room in the adult kids’ apartment, or they have steep stairs (or maybe the kids just want a buffer from too much togetherness!).
Also I have solid commercial insurance in case something goes awry and Airbnb says 3rd party, you’re out of luck.
The birthday story sounds a little flaky because this 3rd party appears to book for others frequently; I’d wonder what they are really doing. Could be an amateur travel agent charging the guests more and paying you less, sex for sale, etc.

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This is yet another aspect of hosting where we’re all different.

I think that the reason why we differ so much is that we all have different reasons for not accepting third party bookings.

I’ve had plenty and they’ve never been a problem but bear in mind that I use IB so I don’t have the dilemma about accepting or declining.

The only times I’ve questioned a third party booking has been when a) the guest has made it blatantly obvious in their message AND b) there are one or two other aspects about the booking that I don’t like for whatever reason. In those instances I tell the guest that it’s against Airbnb policy so to please ask the real guest to create an account and book themselves and that Airbnb will walk them through it f there are any problems.

I think that every time I’ve done that the guest has done exactly that and they’ve booked okay.

My reason for occasionally questioning a third party booking is because we’ve all heard stories about people who have had their accounts closed by Airbnb and I like to stay on the right side of them if possible. :slight_smile:


Thank you all very much for your replies!!!
Here is our reply. I hope they cancel. Time is running out and we are on the road today. I will carry Airbnb ## and talk to them right before cut off time if they do not cancel. Just can’t deal with this right now. If we had more experience maybe ok. He wrote the reviews for one of h is 3rd party for host and uses their words…

Hi Ryan,
Actions such as this are against Airbnb terms of service. We hope that you cancel this request, and the person arriving matches the persons booking i’d.
We would be happy to meet and host your friends on those dates, but only if they book and are the people who come.
Airbnb frowns on 3rd party bookings and we require the people coming book our place regardless of circumstances or surprises.
I see that you have done 3rd party bookings a few times and I wonder why. Thank you for choosing the Tiny Tiki Retro Hideaway:)
Sorry. Also due to our insurance we cannot accept at this time.
rsvp asap
Kind regards,
Julia and Michael

I would let them know I can’t accept the booking because I won’t violate AirBnB’s terms of service, but suggest they buy an AirBnB gift card for their friend and send it along with links to a few homes they think the friend might like to choose from.


I’m another one who has done quite a few third-party bookings over the years. Only one was a problem but he was just a complete dick and would have been so had he booked himself.
It all depends on the circumstances and good communication.


Too long and confusing - “We hope that you cancel this request” followed by “the person arriving matches the persons booking i’d.” Do you want them to cancel, or are you expecting someone to arrive? Airbnb doesn’t “frown on” 3rd party bookings - they are against TOS, and you are taking significant risk in allowing one. Also, asking for them to explain themselves just sounds…uncomfortably awkward to me.

What I’d write instead:


I’m sorry, but third-party bookings are against AirBnB‘s Terms of Service (TOS) so I am unable to accept your reservation. Your friend is welcome to book the apartment on his/her own Airbnb account. If you’d like to pay for it, Airbnb has gift cards you can purchase at (link) or (phone number).

Thanks for your understanding and interest in TTRH!


Well, Thank You All again for your thoughtful replies and insights.

He cancelled just in time, and his client might book it.
He does this all the time " flying people all over" ‘busy creatives need a Zen space’ etc. Then he asked if they could do with out a car<><> NOOOOO… for 2 nights??

LOL. Great way to make an impression right? Make it clear the listing hasn’t been read…

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Wait…I thought he was booking as a gift for a friend and his girlfriend. Now it’s his “client”? And he says he flies these “creatives” (btw, it’s a freaking adjective, not a noun, grrrr…) all over the place?

Yeah, I’m not buying it. I’ll be interested to know if he (oops, I mean his “friend/client”) attempts to book those dates under a different name. :thinking:


I can’t help it, this screams “PIMP” lol.


I was thinking the same thing LOL and Ryan said his friend and his girlfriend then that he shared the rules with “her”??? Something fishy …

That being said my first booking was a last minute 3rd party booking. I didn’t know it was against the rules. I had one of my neighbors booking rooms for wedding guests. The man who stayed with me was great he was never there they picked him up for breakfast and brought him back late at night. The only issues I had were he stayed an extra night and they forgot to let me know, didn’t give a review after he said he would and left my front door open when he left :thinking: Total language barrier and funny thing I had 5 missed calls from this old man from Pakistan today :rofl: Probably mistakes since he didn’t know how to use his phone.


Two problems. The guest staying could have bad reviews so needs someone else to book for them. And you forfeit the host guarantee when you accept a third party booking. It’s a totally anonymous booking that you’re handing keys to. We accept third party bookings when booked directly, and we get the credit card transaction signed (through hellosign) we get a government ID of the guests coming on arrival, a signed rental agreement of both payee and guest, and my background check of both payee and guest name checks out. We use instantcheckmate. com.

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